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  • Writer's pictureKim Atherton

Lymphatic Drainage for Good Detoxification

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

The lymphatic system is often forgotten in the detoxification processes, but if the other main detoxification pathways aren't clearing properly then there will be added burden on the lymphatics. Lymphatic drainage is imperative for good detoxification.

Picture of the lymphatic system and its drainage pathways
The Lymphatic System and where it draws from to drain and hence detoxify in the body.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels in our bodies designed to drain waste from our cells. Our blood vessels leak fluids into our tissues every day, and this tissue fluid gets collected by the lymphatic system, returned to the bloodstream for filtering out of the body. The lymphatic system doesn't have a pump system like our bloodstream does so it relies on us moving our bodies to move the lymph fluid along as movement massages it along.

If we don't move a lot, the lymph fluid can become thick like honey instead of watery. Our immune fighting cells, our T-lymphocytes, also travel from the bone marrow to the thymus via the lymphatic system to get their education to learn how to detect 'self' from 'non-self' which is important to prevent autoimmunity. The lymph fluid also passes through our lymph nodes which filter out pathogens from our bodies.

The majority of our lymphatic system lies just beneath our skin (70%) so gentle movement assists it. The other 30% is deep and gets moved by ensuring we use diaphragmatic breathing. The best thing we can do is make sure we move every hour if we have sedentary jobs by simply bouncing on our feet, or doing heel drops. These engage our parasympathetic nervous system so this has the added bonus of calming us down if we have stressful lives.

Symptoms from stagnant lymphatics include:

  • Inability to lose weight - lymphatic fluid removes our cells toxins, and if we can't clear those toxins, our body will 'hang on' to toxins in our fat cells. Result - we don't lose weight

  • Increase in acute infections

  • Chronic tonsillitis/ enlarged tonsils

  • Chronic sinus issues

  • Sore throats

  • Chronic headaches

  • Rashes

  • Swelling/ puffiness/ fluid retention

  • Mouth breathing

  • Lumps in groin (enlarged lymph nodes)

  • Allergies/ sensitivities

  • Brain fog

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Depression

  • Waking up between 3-5am

  • Tight clothes make you feel very uncomfortable

  • Reactions to dairy

  • Muscle or joint pain

  • Stiffness

  • Cravings

  • Cellulite

  • Irritability

  • Acidity of the body

  • Mould sensitivity

  • Smelly armpits

  • Oestrogen imbalance - as progesterone moves through lymphatics (or not if there's congestion), so conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, PMS, Fibrocystic breasts can also prevail.

Conditions in which you should not do lymphatic drainage without consulting your doctor include Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, if you have Blood Clots, Cancer, or have an acute infection (flu, tonsillitis etc).

Most of our lymph nodes are located where we bend our bodies, so they can become congested and the lymph fluid can find it difficult to move. We can end up with large, hard lymph nodes e.g. in groin.

As the lymphatic system has no pump, simply laying on the ground with your legs up against a wall will help lymph fluid move upwards toward the termini drain if you are suffering from puffiness from being on your feet for too long.

Lymphatic Detoxification Step-by-Step Guide

For a step-by-step guide on how to perform Lymphatic Drainage, head to my Resources tab via the Step-by-Step Guide button below, and download a comprehensive document describing how to perform it.

As with all detoxification processes, if there are severe symptoms that express themselves, a practitioner can help support you. If you would like to discuss your own personal circumstances, please make an appointment via the booking tab.

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Dr. Caitlin Czezowski for physical training on lymphatic drainage


The information provided in this blog/article/handout is for your personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. It should not be considered as medical or professional advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking or omitting to take any action based on this blog/article/handout. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises and assumes no liability regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this blog/article/handout are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this blog/article/handout is done at your own risk. Any third-party materials or content of any third-party site referenced in this blog/article/handout do not necessarily reflect the author’s opinion, standards or policies and the author does not assume any liability for them whatsoever.

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